Academic Books by and about Black Women – 2019 edition

Academic Books by and about Black women 2020

Since 2017 I have released an annual list on this blog that links to all the books Black women academics or academics that write about Black women have published. You can check out 2017 and 2018 if you haven’t yet. This year’s list was built based on tweets I had captured over on @Blackfeminisms that cited these authors. That said, this list is not exhaustive and will require feedback from anyone who reads it. Please feel free to contact me or comment on the post if there is an academic book published in 2019 on Black women or by a Black woman scholar that I may have missed.

In 2019 Black women from a wide range of disciplines wrote books: Theatre studies, science and technology studies, sociology, psychology, public health, and many more. Beyond that, they covered a wide range of topics related to Black women and girls: how they navigate the criminal justice system; how they strategize to raise their children; how they confront inequality while living with HIV/AIDS and many more topics. These scholars also took a Black feminist or womanist lens to unpack and provide solutions for a host of issues that affect broader society. Add these books to your syllabi, cite them in your own research, and encourage your libraries to stock them.

Happy reading in 2020 and beyond!

  1. Maisha S. Akbar – Preaching the Blues: Black Feminist Performance in Lynching Plays
  2. Paula C. Austin – Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life
  3. Bianca J. Baldridge – Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work
  4. Kabria Baumgartner – In Pursuit of Knowledge: Black Women and Educational Activism in Antebellum America
  5. Ruha Benjamin – Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code
  6. Ruha Benjamin et al. – Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life
  7. Nishaun T.  Battle – Black Girlhood, Punishment, and Resistance: Reimagining Justice for Black Girls in Virginia
  8. Keisha N. Blain and Tiffany M. Gill – To Turn the Whole Word Over: Black Women and Internationalism
  9. Andrea S. Boyles – You Can’t Stop the Revolution: Community Disorder and Social Ties in Post-Ferguson America
  10. Hazel Carby – Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands
  11. Orly Clerge – The New Noir: Race, Identity, and Diaspora in Black Suburbia
  12. Ayo A. Coly – Postcolonial Hauntologies: African Women’s Discourses of the Female Body
  13. Patricia Hill Collins – Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory
  14. Tressie McMillan Cottom – Thick: And Other Essays
  15. Dána-Ain Davis – Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth
  16. Dawn Dow – Mothering While Black: Boundaries and Burdens of Middle-Class Parenthood
  17. Jennifer Eberhardt – Biased: The New Science of Race and Inequality
  18. Wanda K.W. Ebright – Dance on the Historically Black College Campus: The Familiar and the Foreign
  19. Akwugo Emejulu and Francesca Sobande – To Exist is to Resist: Black Feminism in Europe
  20. Stephanie Y. Evans, Andrea D. Domingue, and Tania D. Mitchell – Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons
  21. Eve Ewing – 1919
  22. Chandra L. Ford et al. – Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional
  23. Adom Getachew – Worldmaking after Empire: The Rise and Fall of Self-Determination
  24. Aria S. Halliday – The Black Girlhood Studies Collection
  25. Saidiya Hartman – Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals
  26. Minda Harts – The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
  27. K. Melchor Quick Hall – Naming a Transnational Black Feminist Framework: Writing in Darkness
  28. Ra Malika Imhotep and miyuki baker – The Black Feminist Study Theory Atlas
  29. Shirley A. Jackson – Routledge International Handbook of Race, Class, and Gender
  30. Candice M. Jenkins – Black Bourgeois: Class and Sex in the Flesh
  31. E Patrick Johnson – Honeypot Black Southern Women Who Love Women
  32. Aisha Johnson-Jones – The African American Struggle for Library Equality: The Untold Story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund Library Program
  33. Julia S. Jordan-Zachery and Duchess Harris – : Black Girl Magic beyond the Hashtag: Twenty-First-Century Acts of Self-Definition
  34. Annette K. Joseph-Gabriel – Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire
  35. Kara Keeling – Queer Times, Black Futures
  36. Tiffany Lethabo King – The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies
  37. Naa Oyo A. Kwate – Burgers in Blackface: Anti-Black Restaurants Then and Now
  38. Gary L. Lemons – Hooked on the Art of Love: bell hooks and My Calling for Soul-Work
  39. Bettina Love – We Want to Do More Than Survive: Abolitionist Teaching and the Pursuit of Educational Freedom
  40. Stacie McCormick – Staging Black Fugitivity
  41. Tsedale M. Melaku – You Don’t Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism
  42. Jennifer C. Nash – Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality
  43. Amaka Okechukwu – To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions
  44. Chinyere K. Osuji – Boundaries of Love: Interracial Marriage and the Meaning of Race
  45. Nichole Phillips – Patriotism Black and White: The Color of American Exceptionalism
  46. Therí Alyce Pickens – Black Madness :: Mad Blackness
  47. Ashanté M. Reese – Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C.
  48. Loretta Ross, Lynn Roberts, Erika Derkas, Whitney Peoples, and Pamela Bridgewater Toure – Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique
  49. Tina K. Sacks – Invisible Visits: Black Middle-Class Women in the American Healthcare System
  50. Shennette Garrett-Scott – Banking on Freedom: Black Women in U.S. Finance Before the New Deal
  51. Savannah Shange – Progressive Dystopia: Abolition, AntiBlackness, + Schooling in San Francisco
  52. Jennifer Patrice Sims and Chinelo Njaka – Mixed-Race in the US and UK: Comparing the Past, Present, and Future
  53. Karla Slocum – Black Towns, Black Futures: The Enduring Allure of a Black Place in the American West
  54. Sabrina Strings – Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia
  55. Brandi Thompson Summers – Black in Place: The Spatial Aesthetics of Race in a Post-Chocolate City
  56. Christin Marie Taylor – Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South
  57. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor – Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership
  58. Ebony Elizabeth Thomas – The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games
  59. Cheryl Thompson – Beauty in a Box: Detangling the Roots of Canada’s Black Beauty Culture
  60. Lisa Tomlinson – Una Marson
  61. Chanequa Walker-Barnes – I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation
  62. Celeste Watkins-Hayes – Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality
  63. Traci West – Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Religion, Racism, and Ending Gender Violence
  64. Monica M. White – Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement
  65. Shaunte Brown White and Kandace L. Harris – Representations of Black Womanhood on Television: Being Mara Brock Akil
  66. Qianna Whitted – EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest
  67. Rafia Zafar – Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning

Special thanks to Leea Allen, Keisha N. Blain, Wanda Ebright, Rihana Mason and Amaka Okechukwu, and Blanca E. Vega for their suggestions. Thanks also to Candice M. Jenkins, Lynn Roberts, Stacie McCormick, Tsedale M. Melaku, Traci West, Monica M. White, and Qiana Whitted.


  • The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas (Penn Graduate School of Education) — focuses quite a bit on representations of (and by) Black women in popular culture. It came out in 2019, & I was expecting to see it on the list. Very interesting list you’ve got here!

  • Thank you for your work! I recommend adding Labor Pains: New Deal Fictions of Race, Work, and Sex in the South by Christin Marie Taylor (Shenandoah University), published by the University Press of Mississippi this year.

  • Nemata Blyden, African Americans and Africa: A New History (Yale University Press, 2019)

  • Thanks for this list. It is a super helpful compilation. I have found the book In the Wake: On Blackness and Being by Christina Sharpe, very powerful and important. It includes quite a bit of reflection on how Black women live and die in the wake.

    Also, I think Jenniffer Nash’s Black feminism reimagined, is a super important and provocative contribution to think Black feminism beyond intersectionality. Many thanks again.

    In solidarity, Laura